The IMSE Lunchtime Challenge Discussion Series is one of our community-building activities. For this series, we bring together two Imperial academics from different backgrounds who work on the same topic to present and them facilitate discussion around a global challenge.

This IMSE Lunchtime Challenge Discussion will be presented by Dr. Sonali Parbhoo (Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering) and Professor Allan Lawrie (National Heart & Lung Institute) . The structure of lecture will be two 20 minute presentations with audience afterwards. You are then invited to join us for lunch which will be provided.

The title of this lecture will be:

IMSE Lunchtime Challenge Discussion: Big Data and Healthcare

The lecture will be held at Imperial College London at the South Kensington Campus, 412 Roderic hill, Level 4.

As there are limited spaces for the in person session we ask that you register in advance. You can also join online. You can also join online.


Dr Sonali Parbhoo

Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Sonali is an Assistant Professor and leader of the AI for Actionable Impact (AI4AI) lab at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on sequential decision-making in uncertainty, causal inference and building interpretable models to improve clinical care and deepen our understanding of human health, with applications in areas such as HIV and critical care. She was recently named a Harvard CRCS Rising Star in AI in 2021. Her work has been published at a number of machine learning conferences such as NeurIPS, AAAI, ICML and AISTATS as well as journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Communications, AMIA, PLOS and JAIDS. Prior to joining Imperial College, Sonali was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and a Swiss National Science Fellow. Sonali received her PhD (summa cum laude) in 2019 from the University of Basel, Switzerland where she built intelligent models for understanding the interplay between host and virus in the fight against HIV. Apart from her research, Sonali is passionate about encouraging more discussion on the role of ethics in developing machine learning technologies to actively improve society.

Professor Allan Lawrie

Chair of Pulmonary Vascular Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, National Heart & Lung Institute

Allan completed his PhD “The effects of ultrasound on vascular gene delivery” (Supervisor – Prof Chris Newman) in the Department of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Sheffield in 2002. Allan followed this with a post-doctoral position with Prof Marlene Rabinovitch at Stanford University, California where he developed an interest in the molecular mechanisms of Pulmonary Hypertension.

Allan returned to the University of Sheffield in 2004 to establish a translational science research programme in Pulmonary Hypertension. Allan has been successful in obtaining early career and senior Fellowships from the Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation focused on understanding the role of the osteoprotegerin (OPG) / tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) axis in PH. Allan also obtained a Medical Research Council DPFS award to co-develop a novel therapeutic antibody targeting OPG for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. Working closely colleagues in Sheffield all co-launched and Directed the formation of the Donald Heath Centre for Pulmonary Hypertension research.

Allan moved to the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London in April 2022 and retains a strong interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying pulmonary hypertension. He retains a firm focus on translation in areas of novel therapies, biomarkers, and the use of ‘Real-World’ data including healthcare and personal activity data to improve early disease diagnosis and monitoring of treatment response. Most recently Allan’s research has focused on the utility of artificial intelligence and machine learning (working with Dr Dennis Wang) to help identify molecular sub-groups of patients within current clinical classification groups and aims to identify new molecular classification groups of pulmonary hypertension.

About The Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering

The Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE) is one of Imperial College London’s Global Institutes, drawing on the strength of its four faculties to address some of the grand challenges facing the world today. The Institute’s activities are focused on tackling problems where molecular innovation plays an important role.

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